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Mixed - CA/SA - Advice and suggestions needed.

PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2008 6:43 pm
by wmayes
Okay. Look at my signature:

75 Gallon: 4' long, 2' tall, 1' deep

Tank is about two months old used established filtration media from my African Male tank.
This is my first venture into the CA/SA realm.

Currently stocked with three cichlids and a corycat:
Heros Efasciatus 2"
Amatitlania Nigrofasciatus (Formerly Archocentrus - apparently it was reclassified - http://www.cichlidae.com/gallery.php?genus=Amatitlania) 2"
-has already laid several batches of eggs (which aren't fertalized... no male present - unless they are hybrids with one of the other fishes)
Cleithracara maronii 2"
-beautiful fish.
Corycat (unknown species) 3"


Will soon be slightly planted (with fake plants... unless someone can convince me that having real plants won't add much more maintenance. What brand will look the most realistic?)

I've placed four very nice peices of driftwod (one which take up a very large portion of the tank and three subdominant pieces) in the tank.

My questions are:

I love the interesting look of Eartheaters. What species (suggest a few in case I can't get your first choice) would be most ideal in this tank? Should I add one, a pair, or do these fish do best in a harem?
Question about the genus Gymnogeophagus - could anyone elaborate on the temperature specifications? If it's too elaborate please don't suggest an eartheater of this genus.

After looking through the species profiles I like these the most:
G. Abalios, Altifrons, sp Pindare, sp Tapajos Orange Head & S. Jurupari, Leucosticta.

For a splash of color: what species of community fish would be the best choice (looking for something that won't get too large but will be somewhat robust)

Re: Mixed - CA/SA - Advice and suggestions needed.

PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2008 7:57 pm
by wmayes
wmayes wrote:
I've placed four very nice peices of driftwod (one which take up a very large portion of the tank and three subdominant pieces) in the tank.


*Pieces and *takes.

PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:16 pm
by wmayes
Is anyone going to help?

PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:22 pm
by DeadFishFloating
G'day wmayes,

I really don't want to be a downer here, especially when you are trying your first SA tank.
(what made you see the light and come over from the dark side, i.e africans :P )

But I would not stock a convict cichlid with many of the more peacefull SA cichlids.
https://www.cichlid-forum.com/profiles/s ... php?id=132
To call these cichlids merely 'spunky' would be a classic understatement, as a Convict will bring a whole level of aggression and dominance to any aquarium it is stocked in, far in excess of it's actual size.


As for your tank, and stocking with SA cichlids. Unlike African cichlids, over stocking SA tanks is not a good idea, as more often than not it will end up with a few deaths. Many very expereinced SA keepers will stock a little more heavily than usual, but they will very carefully plan which species are stocked with which other species.

Severums and and some of the larger earth eaters, like G. proximus or S. leucosticta will work, but you would need a 180 gallon 6 footer.

In a 75 gallon tank, I would stock a pair of severums, 6 to 10 corydoras, a bristlenose catfish or two, and some larger dither fish, like emperor tetras, spotted hatchetfish and red or black phantom tetras.

If you like G. tapajos, you could stock two pairs, and possibly a pair of dwarf acaras like Keyhole cichlids.

In either setup, plants are not necessary, as long as you place your driftwood to allow for two or three seperate territories to be able to be established by the cichlids.

What are you using as a substrate and what materials do you have in your filter/s?

PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:27 pm
by wmayes
Oh, darn.

Okay. Darn.

I really like the convict but could do without her.

Is getting rid of the severum a must as well if I keep the keyhole?

The plants are more for the aesthetic value.

PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:45 pm
by DeadFishFloating
wmayes, it really depends what your looking for in your tank.

Many of the smaller SA cichlids prefer planted tanks with lots of driftwood as well. Eartheaters prefer sandy bottom, open tanks and like to be kept is small groups, and show better behaviour in such groups.

Medium size SA cichlids do well as individuals in a community tank, or as a pair in a species only tank

Larger, more aggressive SA cichlids are better off kept as single individuals in sparsely populated community tanks, as a pair will dominate, and likely kill most other fish in anything smaller than a 6 footer.

Tell us what you would like, a SA community tank with two or three smaller species, or a species only tank with a pair of medium sized cichlids. Either setup will allow for corys, bn's and dither fish.

PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 11:26 am
by wmayes
I guess the first option - small cichlids with lots of plants. I've got a mixed substrate: places with pebbles, others with sand, and small elliptical cobblestone-like rocks scattered throughout... It sounds bad and cheesy when written but looks exactly like underwater pictures from SA.

Give me a few suggestions for stocking that keep my Keyhole Cichlid and I'll start over.

PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 2:39 pm
by illy-d
I think your tank has too small a footprint for geos... A lot of geos grow big and prefer being in a group...

I think you can keep the severums - at least 1 of them and maybe add some more keyholes...
Bolivian rams would also be a nice addition cichlid wise...

If your keeping with a SA them then you have several types of Tetras to choose from - if you don't care about geography so much a school of congo tetras would be nice.

I would also add 6 corydoras for the bottom/clean-up - and 6 or more Marbled Hatchetfish to fill out the surface

PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 2:45 pm
by wmayes
I think that is what I'll do.

Except could you give me a few other, more colorful, suggestions instead of the Tetra and Hatchetfish? Would a small group of a Melanotaenia species work?

PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 6:38 pm
by DeadFishFloating
Hey wmayes,

If you want to stock around the Keyhole, the first thing I would do is get another 3. Keyholes are traditionally a timid SA dwarf cichlid, and will benifit from having some buddies around.

I would then look at getting 4 Bolivian rams. These guys are dwarf earth eaters.

These are two great dwarf SA cichlids to start with.

Many LFS here sell driftwood with anubis, java fern and java moss attached to it. Easy wat to have low maintenance plants in the aquarium. These will provide the perfect hidding places for the Keyholes. Just make sure some of the driftwood pieces have some hollows or cave structures as the Keyholes will use them, and feel safer knowing they have somewhere to retreat to, and conversly be happier to swim around in the open.

As for tetras, there are literally dozens of species at most LFS, just look for ones you would like, then do a little research on them. Pencilfish and hatchetfish do live near the surface, while most tetras live in the middle of the water column.

PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 10:25 pm
by wmayes
So far I am planning this:

4 Keyholes
4 Bolivians Rams
6-10 Corycats
1 BN Pleco

Could I keep the severum until he/she gets too large for the tank?

What about Laetacara Curviceps? Could I add a few of those as well? Or would that be totally pushing it?

And the Hatchets and/or Tetras: what numbers? Any particularly colorful species?

PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 11:57 pm
by illy-d
I think space wise the Laetacara, keyholes, and bolivians would work... However I have had breeding Keyholes get pretty nasty - I had 4 in a 55 gallon tank (same footprint as your tank) and once a pair formed the other two keyholes were not appreciated...

But yeah I'd try a pair. The only Latacara I have seen in a LFS (where I live) is the Thayer - and they get to 6" or 8" (making them two big for my tank - but a consideration for yours). The dorsigera is a nice looking latacara as well.

PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 1:24 am
by dwarfpike
You could try that many dwarves ... but remember dwarf cichlids are still cichlids!!!!

A pair will easily claim a 24x24 inch area as their own if you have any pairing off, leaving a lot of cichlids in a very small space.

If you wanted to start with that many and remove the extras after they pair, or remove the pair to another tank it may work.

PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 5:38 am
by DeadFishFloating
I have two breeding pairs of Laetacara curviceps in my community tank. Each pair has it's own breeding rock, with about 2 feet of thin val forest inbetween. There is an imaginary line down the middle of the thin val and if one curviceps crosses it, the other pair imeadiately go on the offensive to see off the intruder.

Each pairs territory is approximately 1 foot long by 6 inches wide. The thin val forest is coincidently 6 inches wide. :lol:

Anyway, if you scape your tank right, you may be able to fit in 4 pairs of dwarf acaras, but it would definately be on the edge, and really wouldn't leave to much room for the Bolivian rams. And if one pair of rams got frisky, I think you would have chaos break out.

Personally I wouldn't do it. For many reasons. The main one being lack of proper community areas, where the fish can interact without worring about defending breeding territory or spawning sites. If a fish is chased out of a pairs territory, it's a good chance they'll be chased straight into another pairs territory, etc etc.

PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 7:25 am
by wmayes
Okay, then I'll stick to just the Keyholes and Boliviam Rams.